Day 3 - Forget What You Know - 30 Days of Yoga

I took an inventory of my year this morning.  I have been kicking around the idea of getting intentional about honing my craft as an entrepreneur.  I started owning my own business accidentally about 8 years ago.  We lived in a town where there was no work.  I started creating arts and craft and got on the craft fair circuit.  I established some wholesale customers.  I took on some marketing clients.  I was somehow making a way bit by bit.  

But the dream was to go back to a typcial 9-5 job.  Because all of the headache of owning your own business just did not seem worth it to me.  The payout was way too small.  Each year I would go into it looking for something that I like to do - these past few years it has been teaching - but I would always have a little something going as a side gig.  And each year something would happen - a lay off, a job relocation, troubling workplace situations - would find me back in the place of having to hustle once again.

As I began to chart these last eight years, I realize some ideas worked surprisingly well.  And, truth be told, actually would create the income I make as a teacher without the stress of the job and my hours would be a bit more flexible.  What I actually did begin with an intention, a business plan, and 100% of my energy?  What if I not only pumped myself up to bet on myself, but I was methodical about trusting myself?  

I decided that there is no reason not to try.  Because teaching will always be there. But this calm and calculated flow is here right now.

Day 2 - Stretch & Soothe - 30 Days of Yoga

Over the course of my life, I have had to recreate my life work.  I have taught yoga. art, hula hooping, drum circles.  All of these opportunities came based on my openness to try new things and willingness to figure things out and just 'fake it until I make it.'  

As I move into my fifties, I find that all this adapting has made me feel a bit scattered.  I am pretty good at a ton of things.  I always wanted to be a craftsman of sorts.  I want to pick one thing and really dive deep into it.  Being a military wife has not really lent itself to that type of focus.  As my husband moves and makes choices based on his career, I have had to align and adjust.  

Maybe that is why over the years I have grown more appreciative to what a yoga practice can offer.  Perfection is not attainable.  Each day you come to the mat and you met your body and, by extension, you meet yourself.  I find that I can't run away from my secret longings on the mat.  My practice has always had a spiritual component to it.  And because of this, I can ignore the practice for long periods of time, complaining about my time commitments.  The reality though is that if I don't have time to be quiet and alone with my thoughts for 30 minutes, I am too busy.

Writing is pretty much the same way for me.  I will take long breaks from coming to the page.  But when I finally sit down again, one of two things happen.  Either my thoughts are like a runaway train and I can't house them on the page fast enough or I feel a clog in the system and I have to just begin with a prompt of some sort.  

My life this year has not been as I have planned.  That is funny to type.  No year has really been how I have planned.  But this year I have a nod of 'oh I see' with the recognition.  I hear a whisper to go back through each year and parse out what worked.  And the things I am seeing are quite surprising.  Some unexpected things are coming to the forefront.  And it makes me smile.  Working ALL THINGS together for my good.  Yes, GOD does.

Getting back into yoga - and to myself

I have had a love hate relationship with yoga over the years.  I started yoga about 16 years ago.  And I did not like it.  I did not find any enjoyment.  It wasn't about the quiet.  It was more about the movement.  Being that connected to my body, my breath.  Cardio is fast moving, powered by beats and bass and 30 minutes and you are done.  Pretty mindless for me.  Set the timer on a cardio machine and go.  But over the years, I find myself wanting to go back to it.  Try it again. First to meet the challenge.  Master it.  Show myself that I could do it.  But something is different each time I go back to the practice. I felt the same way about Pilates.  And I have ZERO interest in trying it again.  Maybe if I had to choose a word to describe why I return to yoga is respect.  Maybe even honor.  I feel honored and I respect that when I come to the practice I come as I am ON THIS DAY.

Spirituality and in particular a spiritual practice where I take time in the morning and sit in the quiet with a journal and a Bible in my hand and a devotional plan to guide my practice felt very much the same at the beginning of my practice with it almost 27 years ago.  I did not love it.  It was very mechanical.  I basically mimicked what others said I should say and feel.  But then life got hard.  And then harder.  And at some points almost unbearable.  But I come to with similar feelings of honor.  And respect. And at 51, I find that the 'me' I am meant to be is more along the line of  F*&^ it, you have tried all the ways you have been told to fit in.  Why not really try to figure out what all of thiese experiences are REALLY supposed to add up to.

It was actually in a yoga class that I first heard the whisper "It's okay to be a woman."  That happened 15 years ago.  Before my daughter was born.  And I have wrestled with why I needed to hear that for years now.  Anytime I need to stand up for myself.  Anytime my voice is minimized.  Anytime, I feel unsure if I am even capable of making hard decisions for myself.  I think of that revelation.

Today I started my yoga practice again.  That was after last week being compelled to begin a green smoothie challenge.  And that was after I walked away from a job because it was way more stress than it was worth and my body was shutting down in dramatic fashion and I had to use my voice and say ENOUGH.  Scary stuff when you have become accustomed to being somewhere that can muscle through. Anything.  But not anymore.  I am back to really paying attention with the wisdom of these 50 years. What power does this wisdom hold that I am still dancing around with little girl eyes.  I want to put away childish ideals.  And become a fully evolved woman.  With things to say that shape the future.  So I begin by coming back to my first love which is writing.  And I wait for no matter how long it takes to find out what this wisdom holds.